A short simple guide to vitamin supplements

Tablet. Photo credit kev-shine
Tablet. Photo credit kev-shine

Do you ever wonder if you should be taking supplements? Have you been to the doctor recently and after a blood test been informed that you are low in a vitamin or two?

Here’s a quick guide to common supplements and why you need them.

A Sight For Sore Heads. Photo credit Bonio
A Sight For Sore Heads. Photo credit Bonio

Lets start at the beginning – Vitamin A

Vitamin A is found in carrots, green veg, fish and tropical fruits. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy teeth, skin and other tissues in the body. It is also important for eye health.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B can be found in very common foods like dairy products, meat, fish and eggs. It is important for energy, boosting mood, immune system health and concentration amongst other uses. Vitamin B is broken up into eight separate vitamins, each with different functions and while some people are recommended to supplement with one particular B vitamin it can also be found in a complex which includes all essential B vitamins.

Vitamin C

The whole body needs vitamin C for repair of the tissues. It is also highly recommended for the health of the immune system to prevent/fight off a cold and flu. It can be found in citrus fruits, broccoli, leafy green veg and tomatoes.

Sunshine. Photo credit Ronnie Scotch Finger
Sunshine. Photo credit Ronnie Scotch Finger

Vitamin D

As a country that doesn’t get much sunshine each year vitamin D deficiency is very common in Ireland. If going on holidays to a sunny country isn’t exactly doable then supplementing vitamin D may be the next best thing. It can be found in fish, egg yolk and milk (some have vitamin D added to them). If you’re lucky enough to holiday three times a year, lucky you and your vitamin D levels.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds, leafy green veg and fish. It is an antioxidant which means it can help fight off infection. It is also good for the skin and can be found in creams or gels and applied topically.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is found in leafy green veg and other veg like broccoli and brussel sprouts (yum). It is important to prevent the blood from clotting (this is important if you take the contraceptive pill and/or smoke).

Some other supplements that are important …

Zinc

Zinc can be found in certain meats, quinoa and some nuts and seeds. In a similar way to vitamin C, zinc contributes to the health of the immune system and can fight off a cold or flu. It can also help with certain skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

Calcium (I know this one, milk right?)

Bingo. Calcium is commonly found in dairy products. But it is also in green leafy veg, green beans and almonds. Calcium is a vital nutrient for the health of bones and teeth. Pass the milk.

 

If you find no other usful information from this blog apart from the importance of green leafy veg and fish then that’s OK. Include these in your diet and book a holiday to Spain and your vitamin levels will be in tip-top shape. If you are unsure though, speak to your doctor about it.